Friday, November 20, 2009

shhhh revolution in progress

There's been a quiet revolution going on at work. One that no-one, save me, may be noticing. I've been working at Vita for three years now and my wheelchair is well known, Joe is simply a fact of my employment - get one, get the other - as he helps me get around from place to place. When my wheelchair broke, I worked from home. When I'm away I check emails every day. My goal is that no one waits for an answer for more than 24 hours. Sometimes this makes for long evenings, but it's worth it to feel like a valued member of the team rather make that fatal drop out of the loop.

Recently our Behaviour Therapist has had horrible car accident. Now recuperating at home she wishes to be part of the team. Every part of the organization from human resources to executive director have to make decisions as to how to make her wishes possible. Slowly but surely things moved along. I've been following the emails of teams of people from the various locations where she consults have pulled together to figure out how she can best support them (she's good at that) but also how they can support her (they are good at that too).

It seemed like her temporary Visa pass into the world of disability means that she didn't have to give up citizenship in the world of work, of value, of contribution. People are beginning to understand adaption and the benefit of flexibility. The idea that she simply be sidelined wasn't ever really considered.

Workplaces can be places where all are valued and all are supported. I'm watching, from the sidelines in my wheelchair and I'm cheering them along. This, may just be, the future.


Liz Miller said...

What an exciting process to watch and be a part of!

Kristin said...

It must be wonderful to work for such a progressive and adaptive company.

Terri said...

This gives me such hope--if it can happen once, it can happen again.

Moose said...

*sigh* Must be nice. My last places of employment considered my mobility problems an "issue." Not in my favor, either.

Kris S. said...

Comment completely unrelated to your most recent post: The "2009" guy looks like someone I've seen before, and it just hit me--the character John Goodman played in "Raising Arizona."

Anonymous said...

*sigh* Wish my job were as accommodating! I'm hanging on by the skin of my FMLA.

Anonymous said...

My work was incredibly accommodating, giving me four out of five days as work-at-home, a flexible schedule, FMLA, everything they could manage to make things possible for me.
It hasn't been enough; my last day is Friday (after almost six years).

One of the things that wound up being straw-that-broke?
The local telephone company made some kind of change which rendered my home internet connection incompatible with that at work.
I can connect from a friend's, so it's not work's side, it's something at the home connection.

So I had to try to get in every day, with my powerchair which is just *that* much too big for the bus I was taking (due to the breathing equipment on the back), and that was just that little bit past too far.

Working from home is amazing, but it didn't take much for it to dissolve like a dream.

I am pleased that your work is so forward-thinking, and hope for all the best for you.